Folks at Home
Folks at Home is a young organization working primarily in the Sewanee community to provide services to elders who live at home. With a grant of $14,973 the organization is incubating a “Time Bank” to serve a broader population of all ages across the Plateau. Participants can earn or spend time credits by giving or receiving services. All services, whether shopping for groceries or fixing a porch light, are valued equally, measured solely by the amount of time invested in the activity. The Time Bank provides the means of linking organizations and individuals in need of assistance with people who can provide it.
Grundy County Food Bank
Grundy County Food Bank, founded thirty years ago, provides food to hungry families by securing food donations from grocers and purchasing food with cash contributions and grants. With no paid staff, the organization has struggled to keep pace with the growing need as more families are placed in jeopardy from loss of employment and other challenges. This grant of $12,000 enables the Food Bank to hire a director to manage the organization, increase its services, and help raise funds for its long-term sustainability.
Grundy County Historical Society
Grundy County Historical Society has worked with local residents for a quarter of a century to collect, document, and publish their history. In 2009 the organization purchased buildings in downtown Tracy City to create a library, research center, and museum called the Heritage Center. This grant of $10,000 will be used to refurbish a Farquhar Locomotive Boiler that once powered a sawmill in Beersheba Springs.
Residents of the Big Creek Lake
Residents of the Big Creek Lake area, led by volunteer Jeff Sholey, have launched a project to provide picnic tables, concrete pads, and a pavilion on 1.5 acres of county-owned property at the lake. These improvements, funded with a grant of $5,130, are intended to facilitate use of the property as a family-friendly recreational green space for the community. The grant was paid to Grundy County government.
Animal Alliance-South Cumberland
Animal Alliance-South Cumberland works to reduce the cost and suffering associated with unwanted dogs and cats on the Plateau by promoting the early spaying and neutering of pets. This grant of $6,000 will enable the organization to provide low-cost sterilization and rabies vaccinations for pets of low-income pet owners if the procedure is completed at or before four months of age. There will also be a public campaign to educate the public about the availability of the “Fix at Four” program.
Mountain T.O.P. is an interdenominational nonprofit Christian mission affiliated with the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church. Established in 1975, it is one of the oldest continually operating service organizations on the Plateau. With a grant of $5,605, Mountain T.O.P. is producing a new Fall Festival at Camp Cumberland Pines. The festival is designed to be both a fun-filled, community-building event, as well as an opportunity to provide shoes (through collaboration with Soles4Souls) and other basic necessities for needy families in the region.
MidCumberland Mountain Ministry
MidCumberland Mountain Ministry, organized and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, has historically focused on meeting the housing needs of low-income families. With a grant of $4,465, the Ministry will seek to strengthen its “Work for the Future” program, which provides scholarships for adults participating in post-secondary vocational education programs, specifically the Certified Nursing Assistant classes and other trade classes offered by the Tennessee Technology Center in McMinnville.
Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic
Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic was established in 2010 as a means of providing primary care in a region where access to such services is constrained by high levels of poverty and a ratio of doctors to patients that is less than one tenth the national average. Like other such organizations around the country, the Clinic offers free care to the medically indigent, provided by a mostly volunteer staff and underwritten by cash donations. This grant of $15,000 enables the Clinic to hire a trained medical assistant to increase the capacity of the staff to serve a growing number of needy families.
Grundy Rotary Service Club (aka Hands Across the Mountain)
Grundy Rotary Service Club (aka Hands Across the Mountain) has assumed responsibility for providing the local resources, financial and organizational, to sustain Grundy County’s participation in the Imagination Library, a statewide program that provides free books to pre-school children to foster early literacy. This grant of $6,000 covers the local matching funds for the number of children currently enrolled in the program. The Rotary Service Club is also leading an effort to boost participation in the program and stabilize its funding.
Grundy Area Arts Council
Grundy Area Arts Council has worked for two decades to foster cultural activities in the region, creating opportunities for local arts and artists, and serving audiences with limited access to the arts. This grant of $7,500 is to support the development of a Student Theater Project through which local elementary school students will learn theater techniques and perform an adaptation of a story written by local author May Justus. This effort is intended to pave the way for the development of an indigenous theater program to educate local residents and attract tourists to the plateau.
South Cumberland Collaborative for Young Children and Families
South Cumberland Collaborative for Children and Families is a new local initiative generally aimed at creating innovative programs in support of developing strong children and families. This grant of $15,000 is to support the Family Co-op Project, which will provide a gathering place for pre-school children and their families for recreation, mutual support, and participation in literacy-oriented learning activities. The project, launched by local and national partners, will be implemented with support from Scholastic press and the Yale Child Study Center, which will receive and administer the grant.